Thursday, September 15, 2011

When You Can't Get it All Right

Tea Olives fill our home with grace and fragrance--the plant a gift from a friend years ago.
These first few weeks of September have presented a special challenge. Like everyone else in this country, I feel the pain of the 911 anniversary. Additionally, my mother was dying at this time ten years ago. In 2001, I was also just getting over Post Traumatic Stress, which had been at its worse in a previous fall. Add to that, a husband just recovering from cancer and knee replacement this year, a first time empty nest because of two college age children moving out a few weeks back and the tedious work of final edits on a book.

When I felt my legs and hands shaking a few days ago, for a moment I wondered what was going on. Then, as I thought about it, I really shouldn’t be surprised. Twelve years ago, when the PTS started and I felt myself shaking, I’d say, “I have to stop this.” But I learned to extend grace to me, and as I recovered I could say, “It’s no surprise I’m shaking a little. I’ve been through a lot.”

Well, I’m cutting myself some slack now, too. As the dust settles from this very hard year in anybody’s book, it’s no wonder I’m a little shaky. But I’ll get better in time. It doesn’t mean my faith is faltering. It means I’m human.

It’s a funny thing about grace. So many of us stand ready to extend it to others, but hold back from ourselves. What I learned in recovering from PTS, is that the stringent demands I put on myself exacerbated the PTS. When I learned to release those self-demands for perfection to the Lord, I started to improve.

This isn’t the post I intended to write today. I originally wanted to share one about the book headed to production. I’ll do that later. But today, if you’re one of those folks beating yourself up, because you can’t get it all right. Take a deep breath, and  release those self-demands to God. Imagine what you’d say to someone else going through what you’re experiencing, and say those same loving, gracious things to yourself. Be kind to yourself.

If you listen closely, you’ll hear Jesus’ grace filled words, too.

“Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come…he will come to save you’” (Isaiah 35:4).


Beth Gilmer said...

Hi Beverly, missed seeing everyone last night. Praying for you and yours! September is always a hard month for me as my Dad passed away after 15 months of battling cancer. It still seems like yesterday but it has been 21 years the end of this month. Take care and hope to see you next Wednesday, I will be in Warner Robins for a training session for AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary, I am teaching a session on Parlimentary Procedure. I hope Sis will come to church on Sunday! Take care of yourself! Love ya, Beth

Beverly Varnado said...

Anniversaries can be hard. Praying healing for you and hope all goes well this weekend. Blessings and love.

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